Shirley Ann Baker
  • 78 years old
  • Date of birth: Oct 15, 1937
  • Place of birth:
    Wanganui, New Zealand
  • Date of passing: May 19, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Auckland, New Zealand
Loved, cherished and remembered

Dear family and friends

On Thursday morning 19 May, Shirley went be with Jesus her Lord and Saviour, who she loved. And although it is a sad time for us, we feel incredibly privileged to have loved and been loved by such a precious wife, Mum and Nan.

We are thankful for the way God has used Shirley’s life to bless so many. As a family, we are very grateful for all your expressions of love and support; we have so valued your prayers and have been greatly encouraged by the tributes and memories you have shared with us.

In the last few days of Mum's life we read these to her. Your tributes were a beautiful gift, that reminded Mum - and sweetly surprised her - that her life was one of significance. It bought her joy and real peace to know that her life has impacted yours, and she feels very humbled and grateful, that God has used her life for great effect, and His purpose, in so many of your lives.

A celebration of Shirley’s life was held on Saturday 28 May, 2pm at Eastview  Baptist Church, 559 Chapel Road, Botany, Auckland 2163

The following are links to Mum’s Service – should you wish to view it.

Part 1

Part 2

Shirley's life story, & tributes from her Memorial service are now loaded in "Her Life"

Thank you all, your words and stories are a treasure and comfort

John, Peter, Bronnie and Sue and families.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Jessica Breski on 14th June 2016

"I just heard of Shirley's passing.  What a woman -- gentle, caring, humble, full of fun, loyal, hospitable, a woman who loved Jesus so much.  The many times our paths crossed through Christian camping events around the world only impressed on me more her strong Christian testimony.  The last time I saw her she and John hosted two of my friends and myself when we travelled from Toronto to NZ and stayed a few nights with them in Auckland -- she made the most amazing corned beef!"

This tribute was added by Reginald Baker on 13th June 2016

"I cannot tell you how much pride we all have as grandkids when speaking to people who have had a life changing experience at El Rancho because of Mr & Mrs Baker. As kids we didn’t fully appreciate how huge their ministry at camp was – we all thought that camp and especially Nan + Poppa’s world revolved around us. Even now I still don't think we have truly realise the impact it has been for the Kingdom of God.

Nan always showed us grandkids a God that was not imprisoned by the constraints of religion but a God that you journeyed everyday life. A God who engaged people in love, a God who was cheeky, a God that was present. It speaks volumes that a lot of us grandkids were lead to Jesus by Nan, she loved with a love that could only come from the throne room of Heaven.

Nan’s life's work will continue to grow beyond her lifetime. Leaving a legacy of lives that have impacted who in turn have and will, go on to impact the lives of others. That's a legacy that we get to share in and count it as an honour to be their grandkids and great grandkids.
Before Nan passed, she gave me all of the sermons she had written over her many years of ministry, and in this box of wisdom I found this poem hand written on the back of an envelope:

“The Light of God, surrounds me
The Love of God, enfolds me
The Power of God, protects me
The Presence of God, watches over me
Wherever I am, God is.”

Nan we love you, we cherished your love for us and we are grateful we were all your favourites."

This tribute was added by Nita Richardson on 3rd June 2016

"To John and family,
As a family, we were so blessed to have known the love and care from Shirley and yourself, John. You welcomed everyone with your graciousness and friendship and the tributes speak clearly of the love and respect we all had for you.  Our God is faithful, and He assured me when John was killed, that He would walk beside me down through the years.  He has done so and will do the same for you all in the days to come. Blessings, Nita, Julie, Brenda, Sue and Lynda"

This tribute was added by Tony Richardson on 29th May 2016

"I always admired the way you were at El Rancho from when I first went in early 60s and later when camping annually,  at Easter conventions and Church weekends - unflappable in all situations and yet always smiling caring and supportive of all.
Such an amazing person and contribution that lives on in so many including me and my children.
Muchas gracias."

This tribute was added by graeme hepworth on 29th May 2016

"Mr Baker; I respectfully suggest, that it is only NOW, that Mrs Baker truly can chant, with absolute confidence; "there ain't no flies on us, there ain't no flies on us....there may be flies on some of you guys, but there ain't no flies on us!"  
Thank you both, for everything."

This tribute was added by Raewyn Paapu on 27th May 2016

"Dear Shirley, It was always a joy to have you and John join us at our Baker, Wells and Parfitt cousin get togethers.  The calm assurance with which you faced your passing to be with our heavenly Father, is an inspiration to me and many others"

This tribute was added by Bill and Jean Toohill on 27th May 2016

"What a privilege and a blessing we have had in knowing Shirley for over 30 years. By her love, care and concern for those she knew, her life shone for the Lord she loved.
Indeed forever missed.
Our deepest sympathy and prayers to John and family"

This tribute was added by Liz Crighton on 27th May 2016

"To John and Family
We were saddened to hear of Shirley's passing.  We remember her always being so caring, supportive and interested in what was happening with our work at Forest Lakes and other Christian Camp sites.  Her involvement in the Christian Camping scene and all she did with CCNZ has been a blessing to many.  We know you will take comfort in the fact that she has gone to a better place with her Lord. Philippians 3:20-21.
With much love Bev Crighton, Denise and Warren Baillie and Grant and Liz Crighton"

This tribute was added by Lynne Parfutt on 27th May 2016

"A life well lived. Rest in peace"

This tribute was added by Mike Garland on 26th May 2016

"It was precious to be able to be in contact with Shirley just before she passed away. Thanks for helping with this Bronnie. This was my message-
“Dearest Shirley and John
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much you have meant to me all of my adult life.
Even though we have not spent much time together in recent years, you have continued to be an inspiration in my life through my experience of your love, warmth, generosity and passion for serving God.
I remember when I showed up at El Rancho in ‘78, we seemed to hit it off.   You embraced me – helped me belong and grow strong roots of faith.  I felt your trust and confidence in me, and that meant a lot to me.  I felt like I was accepted as part of your extended family, and it has been a privilege over the years to celebrate many important moments in your family’s life.
I will be forever grateful for what you have invested in my life - and Esther and I will remember and cherish you always.
All our love
Mike and Esther Garland”"

This tribute was added by David Hill on 25th May 2016

"From David and Pam Hill
John and family, ATribute to Shirley'
Shirley and John, you are very precious to us! You made our time at Birkenhead such a blessing. You were always ready to be our friends, "a listening ear and so eager to help in any way you could. Your being with us enabled us to accomplish so much.
John and family: May the Lord bless you richly in this time."

This tribute was added by Marianne Stewart on 24th May 2016

"Malcolm and I treasure the memories we have of Shirley and John, way back in the 1960's, where we loved going to their home, as leaders to us teenagers. We loved catching up with you both again at El Rancho.
Our prayers go out to you John and the family."

This tribute was added by Peter van der Raaij on 24th May 2016

"Dear John and family,
we were sorry to hear of Shirley's illness and now passing.  Are thoughts and prayers are with you.  We thank God for Shirley's life and faith.  Thank you to both of you for belieiving in us."

This tribute was added by William Drury - Turnbull on 22nd May 2016

"It saddens me here the passing of Shirley, yet at the same time I rejoice. I have fond memories of Shirley and John some twenty years back when they were the Directors of El Rancho. They both gave me, then a young manager, so much guidance. Shirley you were and still are locked in my heart and now that you have gone to be with our Lord, I am sure He will say "well done good and faithful servant". Thank you for touching my life and giving me great passion for Christian Camping. Your legacy lives on in many. Blessings William & Suzanne Drury - Turnbull"

This tribute was added by Tom McIvor on 22nd May 2016

"I used to attend camps as a young kid at El Rancho and John and Shirley were such a blessing to me and many others. They were truly beautiful people and served with such humility and love and knew how to work hard. Truly a great servant of God. Rewards will be great. I am in fulltime Christian ministry. Seeds were sown then."

This tribute was added by Nardia Anderson-Jordan on 22nd May 2016

"It was 1978, and I had my 1st encounter with this precious lady. she was the dear soul that had the difficult task of taking me to their office, where my father and family waited to let me know my mother had passed. I stayed at the camp that weekend, and was ministered to by Shirley over those few days. I have never forgotten her, she impacted my life so much by showing me the heart of the Lord. the most critical time of my life then, was touched by this angel, walking around as Shirley Baker. My utmost condolences to the family."

This tribute was added by Kitty Wake (Morrison) on 21st May 2016

"What an absolute honour and privilege to have known Shirley and John Baker over the 10 years I attended camps at El Rancho. Such a special, hospitable, loving and honest lady with a super quick wit. Raised as a catholic, the teaching and friendship I received over that time has been the foundation stone for my christian faith.  You will be missed by so many. Love and blessings to your family. Xx"

This tribute was added by Andy Hepworth on 21st May 2016

"Your life, and marriage with John, your loving, joy-filled, servant leadership and hospitality have honoured and glorified Christ Jesus, and has been the most amazing marvelous witness and gift to us all.
Countless people have been blessed, brought closer to Christ, or won into the kingdom of God through your willingness to honour Christ with your life.
You have run the best race and fought the good fight. I would love to be there when Christ says "Well done, my good and faithful servant- enter into your rest".
Look forward to seeing you in heaven, with that gorgeous smile, and twinkle in your eyes  :-)  ."

This tribute was added by Mrs. Godfrey on 21st May 2016

"Romans 6:23  For he wages sin pays is death,but the gift god gives is everlasting life by christ jesus our lord."

This tribute was added by Jillaine Kelly on 20th May 2016

"We have such wonderful memories of our time spent at El Rancho with you both and the many other interesting and wonderful people that worked and visited. One of the things I think about a lot is the ability you both have to make everyone feel loved and accepted for the person that they are. Neither of you seemed to judge others and Shirley your hugs used to make the days seem so much brighter. John I just loved your quick wit and big grin. I remember John you telling me once how you used to have a really bad temper as a younger man, I really thought you were having me on because I never saw that in you. Instead I saw a gentle, wise and loving man with a heart for serving Jesus. What an amazing example you have been to us. we have watched as you loved your wife and family, loved God and served him passionately, and cared about everyone you met. I remember once I was walking to the kitchen with Helene, she must have been about 5. We reached the dock at the back of the kitchen at the same time as you. Helene looked up at you and said "I have a book about you at home." You said "Have you dear?" Helene said "Yes it's called Old Bear." At the time I was mortified and wondered why Helene would compare you to a book about Old Bear. I understand why though. Old Bear was the wisest toy in the nursery, he loved all the other toys and looked out for them all. He was gentle and kind and had some very good ideas. He never ridiculed the other toys and let them learn from doing things their way, allowing them to make mistakes. He related to everyone that came to the nursery. I see now why Helene saw you as "Old Bear."
Shirley, you taught me how to serve God on the days when things were tough. The love and trust you have for Jesus taught me how to trust him also. I loved to listen to you talk about praying and sharing the answers you had for prayer. I loved to observe you nurturing the leaders and bringing out the best in them. You saw strengths and gifts in us all that we did not see in ourselves. Thank you both for serving so long and effectively and being such great role models to us."

This tribute was added by Marilyn Way on 20th May 2016

"Dear John, Peter, Bronnie, Sue and families,

It was with a heavy heart that we received news of Shirley's passing. We also acknowledge though that she is in a wonderful place with her Lord and Saviour. What a life well lived and a legacy to make a difference in this world through service and love to others.

Richard and I remember with gratitude the support and mentoring from John and Shirley early in our family life and what special role models they were in portraying strong Christian values and a life of generosity and the importance of community living. We still remember with affection Shirley and John's passion for camping, the outdoors and a vision that benefits so many people in offering a place of respite and reflection from the day to day busyness and complexity of today's society.

Richard and I look back at the rich foundation we were privileged to be part of as we now still carrying forward many of the principles and values Shirley and John portrayed into our present day work. Richard and I now live in Brisbane. Richard works in aged care and I work in early childhood and adult education. We still run camps and are very involved in community work, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. We have never forgotten Shirley's amazing hospitality and her willingness to be a mother to many. We looked to Shirley and John on many occasions as parents and inspired by their example we have embraced extended family life in our own home and within our relationships with others.    

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

With love and best wishes,

Marilyn and Richard"

This tribute was added by Alison Barbour on 20th May 2016

"Ian and I send our love, prayers and thoughts to you John and your family. Shirley's beautiful smile, and caring nature will be very much missed. You are an inspirational couple, and have been our role models for such a long time."

This tribute was added by Graeme Knox on 19th May 2016

"It is great sadness that I read about Shirley, but at the same time rejoice knowing that she is with our Lord and Saviour.
I remember turning up to El Rancho after a difficult time and ended up working there for a year and leading kids camps etc and how Shirley, John and the family took me in. Even after leaving, getting married and having children she still took a great interest in our lives.
Our thoughts are with John and the family at this time
Graeme and Gill"

This tribute was added by Joanne Marsden on 19th May 2016

"Dear Bakers she was such an amazing lady, it was her who partly discipled me when I was a 9 year old at El Rancho when I made my commitment to Jesus and it was through knowing John and Shirley that I became a leader at the camp too many years later, to the family at this time my love goes out to you as you grieve the loss of a beloved mother, wife and Nan, Love from Joanne"

This tribute was added by Ann Mclean on 19th May 2016

"Dear John and family,
It has been a privilege to be part of dear Shirley's journey. She amazed me, each time I visited...the light of Christ just shone from her eyes. What a loving supporting family you are. I have been blessed by you, and am sure will continue to be as I meet with you at Summerset Village in the time ahead. May God continue to lead and guide you all as you travel life's journey."

This tribute was added by Alyssa Scarlet on 19th May 2016

"Mrs Baker was someone you just always subconsciously looked out for when visiting El Rancho. You knew you'd be greeted with a warm smile, twinkling eyes and genuine joy and delight to see you.

Mrs Baker, your sense of fun, kindness and love to those who crossed your path is such a testament to the Lord in you. You are such an amazing lady, your legacy is really endless. I hope you find comfort in knowing your life was one so well lived, that has touched countless others who can't wait to give you a big hug in eternity!

Much love,


P.S. In asking around for comments, Jarrod Seaton who was a cadet back in the 90's had this to say: "I remember Shirley always being the one to slyly pass us cadets the wet towel or food to throw, and then standing back to watch the fun. Always in the mischief , always up for a prank. John and Shirley are my heroes to this day.""

This tribute was added by Dan Carter on 19th May 2016

"So many fond memories dating from the 1960s on from the Carter clan in Waikanae. Blessings to all the Baker clan, from John and Mary Carter, and Dan and Diane."

This tribute was added by Bessy Macotto on 18th May 2016

"John and Shirley, I send you a big hug from Honduras. Praying for you. Love you so much. Thank you for love and support during your time with CCNZ and CCIAL. Thanks for your friendship.
Bessy Macotto"

This tribute was added by Bruce Candy on 18th May 2016

"Shirley, you and John mentored and encouraged me for 14 years. Thank you. One thing I heard you say often, particularly to camping people in hard places, was to "Bloom where you are planted".
You have always bloomed and smiled and loved. You have touched and encouraged the lives of many. And they in turn have touched and encouraged the lives of many more. I think Jesus is smiling. Well done."

This tribute was added by John Ansley on 18th May 2016

"Hi Shirley. Thank you for the impact that you and John had on us as teenagers in Wanganui. Thank you for the Labour Weekend Camps at Maxwell School, for the fun times and the learning times. Thank you both for being examples of how to be a Christian 7 days a week."

This tribute was added by Lynn Whitlock on 18th May 2016

"Hi Shirley
It is many years since I last saw you, in Auckland. However, you, John and your family have often been in our thoughts. You were both wonderful role models to me as a teenager, in Wanganui. Always, bright and cheerful and Shirley you always had a welcoming smile, that I'll never forget!  Us teenagers never seemed to upset you and your home was always open to us. - you even trusted us to 'babysit' your wee ones! Thank you for your obedience to our Lord and allowing Him to use you to touch  the lives of many Wanganui youth in the 60's.
God Bless you.
Till we meet again,
Your sister in Christ,
Lynn (Whitlock, née Britton)"

This tribute was added by Heather-Mary MacKenzie on 18th May 2016

"Our yearly holiday was Easter Convention at El Rancho.   We knew we had arrived (at some very late hours) when we were once again greeted by Shirley and John. What wonderful memories were created for our nine children and the extra young people we took with us.  Shirley you always will have my love and respect.  Our Lord be with you.  Heather-Mary,  for Alastair and the MacKenzie Clan."

This tribute was added by Diana Hardy on 18th May 2016

"Dear Shirley, I wonder if you realise what an inspiration you have been to so many of as we have watched you love your Lord, Your very dear husband John, your natural family, your Christian family and so many people who have been unloved that have come into your life through camp and other ways and who have been touched by you.  May we all be encouraged by the way you have lived your life to look at the way we live ours, God bless."

This tribute was added by Judy Evans on 18th May 2016

"My first introduction to John and Shirley was in June 1985 when I first visited New Zealand, attending the Christian Camping New Zealand Conference in the South Island (can't remember the camp name). I stayed with the Bakers for a few days before travelling across on the ferry from Wellington with the El Rancho staff plus a few others. Oh what fun we had at that conference and if there were any shenanigans happening, it was Shirley who seemed to be involved in organising it. Short sheeting guest's beds or even taking the bed out to the field in winter, and to me, Shirley put so much rice in my suitcase, I had it falling out of that bag for months after! Shirley's sense of humour stood out, yet for me her genuine love from me (an Aussie) I will always be indebted. Thanks for the wonde full memories!"

This tribute was added by dale Hardy on 18th May 2016

"Shirley, "thankyou" thank you for being such a great wife, a great mum, a wonderful grandma and friend. Thank you for opening your life and heart to sooooo, many people. Thank you for your wonderful ability to make everyone in your presence feel so valued and accepted. You have lived life so well, so much love to you ,praying for you all the way."

This tribute was added by Jane-Mark Hickman on 18th May 2016

"Hi my name is Jane Hickman nee Turner, as a large family of 8 we headed to Easter camp each year for many years. My mum and dad Doug and Audrey brought us to camp and we enjoyed many a year. I remember Shirley and John fondly. They both had a welcoming smile, they encouraged my dad so much with his OAC ministry.  Mum and Dad are both with the Lord and I can just imagine when another believer joins them they have a great time, and are at such peace that we cannot explain. To your family be encouraged that we will all be together again forever"

This tribute was added by Chris Booth on 18th May 2016

"Shirley you are an amazing woman who made a huge impact on many young lives including mine. Was a real privilege to not only work with you, but also live under your roof. At a time when I needed family I couldn't have been in a better one. Bruce and I certainly got up to some hi-jinks which you took with such amazing grace. Love Chris and Stephanie"

This tribute was added by gordon campbell on 18th May 2016

"we remember your welcoming smile at christian camping conferences
You encouraged us in our camping ministry,
Thankyou for being a wonderful lady
Gordon and Patty Campbell"

This tribute was added by Clint Dredge on 18th May 2016

"For the 18 months I lived at camp as a young Christian you where both such an example for me and also encouraged me on my new journey.
I count it as a privilege to have had you both as my "Mum and Dad" at that time.
As i write this all I can see in my mind is Shirley laughing the way only Shirley could.
Love you both"

This tribute was added by Mark De Lew on 18th May 2016

"Sending all my Love... You both took a chance on me as a screwed up kid as a Ranch Hand then a Leader with over 50 camps and showed and taught me the beauty and Love of Jesus Christ. Thinking of you all now... God Bless you all immensley now and forever. With all my Love Mark xxx"

This tribute was added by Evelyn Shepherd on 18th May 2016

"Dear Shirley & John, I will never forget your kindness & prayers when we had to return to Australia suddenly, when Garth's father had not long to live.   You were such a comfort to us & your prayers upheld us.
May God uphold you as you go on this journey.   Garth has gone on ahead 7 years ago.   The parting is not forever, Praise God! Evie"

This tribute was added by Darryl Gardiner on 18th May 2016

"Wonderful couple.  Wonderful woman."

This tribute was added by Margaret Kimpton on 18th May 2016

"Dear Shirley, We first met 48 years ago.We have been in contact often over the years and neighbours at Forrest Hill.You continually amaze us with your bright  ,godly spirit on so many occasions,You have been an inspiration to us, Margaret and David Kimpton,"

This tribute was added by Ian Joce Kearney on 18th May 2016

"Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Dear John and Shirley, how wonderful that we can share precious memories of you both on this page. Particularly to you at this time Shirley. You are leaving an amazing legacy not only for your own family but for many, many other families. You always show God's delight and joy in your life. Thank you both for the legacy you have shown to our family over many years. We love you heaps and pray that the stages of life to come are precious for you all. Ian and Joce xx"

This tribute was added by Kevin Futter on 18th May 2016

"I called at the El Rancho Christian bookshop with Christian products on a number of occasions during the years I worked at G.P.H.  Shirley and John were never too busy to make me a coffee and to sit down and look through all the latest Christian books.  They never made me feel as though I was a nuisance, although I was aware how busy they were.  Thank you for the warm welcome and lovely smile Shirley."

This tribute was added by Ann Clausen on 18th May 2016

"I always remember the years when we used to camp in the Dell with friends and Shirley,s wonderful smile and greeting for several years in a row, and the year while we were there hearing that they were looking for more camp staff . We talked to John and Shirley and they suggested we hang back on the day we packed up our gear to have an interview. That was to change our families lives We spent the next 13yrs there. Also Thanks Shirley for the wonderful support and comforting words at time we lost Peter he will be part of your welcoming party as many of your other friends will also be"

This tribute was added by Pyong-Mun Yun on 17th May 2016

"Mrs. Baker was the face of everything good and pure at El Rancho. My family were poor refugees, which she knew, so she always gave us a heavily discounted rate to attend the camp (paid for by our foster grandma) which was the highlight of the year for my brothers and I. I remember never having enough money to buy things from the bookstore, so Mrs. Baker would always discerningly sell me things for the little money that I had. Even 30 years ago, Mrs. Baker used to wease with asthma, but she always smiled, never complained, and carried on with her work diligently. She went out of her way to give words of encouragement, and hugs exactly when needed. Thank you so much Mrs. Baker for your kindness, understanding, and your unconditional love. Much love from Pyong-Cho Yun, Pyong-Hi Yun, Pyong-Mun Yun, and Pyong-Hwang Yun."

This tribute was added by Suz Mcvicar on 17th May 2016

"I always remember going into the book shop at Elrancho and being greeted by Shirleys smile. She was a great example of what a christian woman should be and this showed outwardly and inwardly to many she came into contact with."

This tribute was added by Peter Gordon on 17th May 2016

"John and Shirley, you both are incredible people. You have touched so many people, your love for people is amazing. If it wasn’t for the love that you showed my family 30 odd years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The impact that you had on my life, has impacted people all around the world. You will be amazed by the amount of people that have been touched by your love.  Words can not portray the impact  you had on my life. It is such an honour to have had you both in my life. Weebale nyo Weebale nyo Weebale nyo (thank you very much Luganda)"

This tribute was added by Gordon & Faye Letham on 17th May 2016

"Shirley and John, your example to us as new camp managers was inspirational. Your welcome every time we called into El Rancho was personal and made us feel special. Your sharing at CCNZ conferences helped us immensely as we sought to grow our own camp ministry. Your friendly advice, sense of humour, down to earth attitude made spending time with you a joy.
We send our love to you"

This tribute was added by Jill Bollen on 17th May 2016

"Even though we didn't know each other very well Shirley - the conversations I did have with you and observed you having with other people - showed very clearly that you value people and listened - REALLY listened to them. This is such a gift and I see you have passed this wonderful legacy onto Bronnie (and no doubt your other lovely children) Praying for God's presence to be very real right now for you and your family."

This tribute was added by Patricia Munro on 17th May 2016

"I will always appreciate and value the kindness of Shirley and John Baker shown to my family in time of need.   Never forgotten.
Much respect
Patricia Munro"

This tribute was added by Carl Smart on 17th May 2016

"The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Shirley is her smile and gentleness. Shirley always had so much time for the children and those who worked with them at El Rancho. She was a great example of what it meant to be a Christian. Much love and respect."

This tribute was added by Rachel Tate on 17th May 2016

"Shirley, this is from mum and dad for you:
Dear Shirley
We are privileged to meet many saints on our own pilgrimage and I want to thank you for being a shining example of faithful, kind, supportive Christian womanhood.
As you journey your final days/weeks may the Presence of the Saviour be your constant companion assuring you of that mansion He has prepared for you. There is glory ahead through the veil. Be encouraged by the support of the body of Christ as you approach the gates!
Much love
Joy and Jamie Lauchlan"

This tribute was added by Simon Pyatt on 17th May 2016

"Talking to you over the years Shirley, I really don't think you understand the enormous contribution you and John have made to generations of people. You have blessed me at every turn with your love and encouragement, both when I was a young ranch hand and leader, but also in the decades that followed as you encouraged me in ministry and made an effort to get to know and show love to my family. We will miss you immensely and look forward to the time we will meet you again around the Throne of the One we love."

This tribute was added by Helen Hughes on 17th May 2016

"Shirley had such a big impact on my life. I first met her as an 11 yr old at el Rancho. I was sick and she was so kind to me. Then as a ranch hand and leader. The rag fits we used to have with Shirley and John in the Kitchen. Shirley's your wisdom and laughter and hugs have always been much appreciated. Meeting up with you and John  and sharing life experiences since being back in NZ has been wonderful. You have touched my life in many ways and your steadfast love and your love for John and your family have been an amazing example to me. Much love
Helen Niedermoser"

This tribute was added by Warren Powell on 17th May 2016

"Shirley has become part of the 'folklore' in our family. The first time Mum and Dad stayed at El Rancho they were greeted with hysterical laughter. The caravan rental place had messed up their booking and they ended up with an ancient wooden wreck, that someone was trying to sell. Once Shirley regained her composure she apologised and explained that she had just got off the phone with someone who had cancelled their booking because their caravan had disintegrated at the side of the road. She said it looked like Mum and Dad had picked up the bits! The start of many happy years for them at El Rancho."

This tribute was added by Janet Benge on 17th May 2016

"Geoff and I were talking about our favorite memories of Shirley. There were many - Shirley was an amazing lady. We loved walking around El Rancho late at night with John and Shirley, making sure the kids all stayed in bed. It was such a hoot, we laughed until we cried sometimes. The other memory which is so strong is when the Wanganui IHC would come to camp. There was one young man who fancied himself as an office executive. Shirley would allow him to use her desk in the office for the week, and act as his secretary. He went through rolls of paper adding up random numbers on her adding machine. She changed the paper and brought him cups of tea and biscuits. She was sincerely delighted that he was having a good camping experience. Shirley loved everyone, and they loved her back."

This tribute was added by Elizabeth Henare on 17th May 2016

"Hi Shirley. My name is Elizabeth Hammond.  I spent  many a school holiday at camp as a camper ranch hand and leader. Loved  those days and still think of them fondly. I am now 45 and send my kids to camp in Palmerton.  Thank u  for the memories and it was always good to see u in the book Shop where you always were x bless u"

This tribute was added by Ian Connon on 17th May 2016

"Thankyou to you and John for your ministry at El Rancho, All the friendships that have been made all the people who now know the Lord,  you always had time to talk and make everyone feel welcome and nothing was a problem . To your family for sharing your Mum and Dad with the El Rancho family we can't thankyou enough."

This tribute was added by Sandra Buetow on 17th May 2016

"Dear Shirley, John & family, Such a sad time but also so full of hope. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Shirley, what an amazing woman if God you are. You have been such an example and encouragement to me. Always ready with a smile, hug & word of encouragement &/or a word to challenge and spur me on. You have been a Mum and mentor to so many. May you be filled with Gods awesome peace as you prepare to see your Lord face to face. To John and family may you know His presence, comfort and love.  I am currently visiting family in the USA but please know my love & prayers are with you all. Sandra Buetow"

This tribute was added by Caroline Lonsdale on 17th May 2016

"Dearest Shirley,
You and John have poured much love and support into my family. To Jeremy, Sarah, Matt and myself, especially when Harvey passed away, and when Matt lived at El Rancho. I have such wonderful memories of your loving service at camp. With my love and deep appreciation.

This tribute was added by Elayne Moore on 17th May 2016

"Shirley is such a warm, caring, nurturing Godly woman.  I always felt happy as a child attending El Rancho camps knowing she was looking out for us ready with a HUGE smile, an embrace, and a thoughtful question.  Her eyes would light up and you felt so treasured.  She nurtured us as teenagers through the numerous camps we always enjoyed...and encouraged us in our faith. I will always remember her servant-heart, kind and gentle nature and love for our Lord.
Hebrews 13:14 "For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come"....And verses 15-17 which is just what Shirley and John have done... "with Jesus' help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of His name. Don't forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.  Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say.  Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God.  Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow.  That would certainly not be for your benefit."

Give mum a cuddle from me.
Love you Shirley! xxxxxxx
Elayne Moore (Nee: Sunderland)"

This tribute was added by Zoë MacKenzie on 17th May 2016

"Dear Shirley,

Thank you so much for all the hard work you and John put into the lives of all who stepped foot at El Rancho,  my second home growing up.  I will always remember your friendly warm smiles around the camp.  Those were the days! !! You have been faithful servants of the Lord and i know He'll look at you,  pull you in close in a warm embrace and whisper,  "well done my good and faithful daughter" :) You made that place such a warm and inviting place for so many to come.  I will never forget.  May you have all His peace that surpasses understanding as you go home to your greatest Love.  I know He would've prepared an AMAZING place just for you.  Xx
Youngest daughter of Alastair and Heather-Mary MacKenzie,

This tribute was added by Lena Walsh on 17th May 2016

"Hey mama B, its Lena Walsh here, or you may better remember me as Lena Jackson (Aj's little sister).  El Rancho was never the same after you guys left but I just wanted you to know how much you were loved and respected.  When i was first attending the kids camps I was very much a mamas girl and was too scared to sleep in the cabin with the other girls but you were always very gracious to me and let me sleep in my families caravan with them.  You were very kind to me. We never got a chance to know each other super well but i have never forgotton you guys and the amazing example you were to us young kids.  We love you heaps and you will always and forever be our camp Mum.  God Bless and we'll be seeing you soon."

This tribute was added by Megan Middleton on 17th May 2016

"You will rise up with wings of an eagle walk and not be weary run and not be weak you will be in the arms of your father who is calling you home x x x love my dear lady a treasure to every heart you touched.Megan"

This tribute was added by Ruth Bucknell on 17th May 2016

"Happy memories of a gracious and hard working lady who always had time for me and my family.Great hospitality and love given willingly.Thanks John and Shirley."

This tribute was added by Ruth Clissold on 17th May 2016

"Shirley Frank and I have wonderful memories of you when we were in New Zealand. Remember when we used to of to McDonalds for an icecream  at night. thank you so much for your encouragement and influence on our lives. You were very much loved and appreciated."

This tribute was added by Marbille Duaqui on 17th May 2016

"may you rest in peace"

This tribute was added by Marbille Duaqui on 17th May 2016

"may you rest in peace"

This tribute was added by Denise Baillie on 17th May 2016

I have known you for a long time and have very many happy memories of our time at El Rancho together. Your gentle nature and love for the Lord shone through in the way you treated everyone. Bill and I always appreciated the work you and John did at the camp.
Lots of Love
Bev Crighton and family."

This tribute was added by Andrea Penellum on 17th May 2016

"I will never forget the 10 years I had at El Rancho as a staff kid. John and Shirley were such amazing wonderful and humble people. Shirley was always so interested in us kids and had the most gorgeous smile. Please know that you have touched and influenced my life as you have many many others. Much love. Andrea XOXO"

This tribute was added by Amy Grace on 17th May 2016

"Love you Nan
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

This memorial is administered by:

Bronnie Macleod


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!